‘Star Wars’ Redux: Experts Debate Reviving Strategic Defense Initiative

December 4, 2018

National Defense Magazine:

It was 25 years ago when the Clinton administration announced the demise of the Strategic Defense Initiative, a Reagan-era program which sought to create a shield against the Soviet Union’s intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The end of the Soviet Union was the primary reason for the program’s 1993 cancellation. Then Defense Secretary Les Aspin stripped out the space portion of the initiative — better known to the public as “Star Wars.” What remained were the ground-based missile defense programs being pursued today.

But a quarter century later, Russia is again seen as the United States most serious rival, with China and North Korea and its missile arsenals added to the mix. In addition, Russia and China both report advances in hypersonic technology, weapons that travel at speeds of Mach 5 plus.

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